Nashville: Season 3
Referring to a television series is so popular is frequently used as a pejorative. Soap operas are considered by many to be the ‘stories’ that bored housewives watch to pass the time the husband is at work the kids off at school. Before confirming such a negative connotation on the term should be remembered that some of these series have been on for decades, many going back to a time predating television started on radio doing now on the net. There is a reason why the shows and exhibits such staying power; the writers have bested the art of the serialized story. They know how to captivate an audience holding their attention episode after episode, season after season. A strong example of this is ‘Nashville’ third season has never released on DVD. It has remained a strong offering for ABC for three years and is about to enter its fourth season. It is both critically acclaimed strongly supported by its fan base undoubtedly due in large part to the inclusion of will perform musical numbers that are not only entertaining on their own merit integral to the ongoing story. It is in that class of program found in most networks that have never been given a Blu-ray release but continued to warrant DVD season set. Many members of the audience have been surprised by the non-auto tuned musical talent of the leading actresses, Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Clare Bowen. Ms. Britton has been a near constant fixture on many popular television shows as the mid-90s. Ms. Panettiere turned a long string of commercials into notable guest appearances on hit TV shows finally breaking out as a major character in the ensemble driven sci-fi series ‘Heroes’. Neither of these women has ever been cast in roles that would showcase their incredible singing voices, until now.
The in the previous season many loose ends left for the fans to ponder over the hiatus. This show has always remained faithful to the viewers and the writers do not disappoint them by leaving without addressing the questions they’ve been braiding to be resolved. Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) remains the emotional core of the series. Having conquered country music ascending to as the undisputed queen of Nashville is torn between the love for two men; husband, Teddy Conrad (Eric Close) and her lover from the height of her career, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten.). Rayna has two children, Maddie (Lennon Stella) teenager and her younger sister, Daphne (Maisy Stella). Remaining true to the overall format your daughter was by Deacon and only recently was revealed. In the previous season the relationship between Rainer and has been collapsed under the strain of trying to reignite her career in a husband’s foray into politics. Rayna becomes involved with the biggest male country star, Luke Wheeler (Will Chase) who, in the season to cliffhanger proposes marriage to her. During this season the relationship becomes Rocky and Rainer breaks off the engagement. This leaves completely devastated and heartbroken but as this is country music that can easily translate into another hit record.
Right from the start to reason that Rainer was trying so hard to a position on the top of female country artists is that they young woman after age, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) has successfully moved from the bubble gum pop princess into a serious contender for Rayna’s throne. Most of the series Juliette engaged popularity contest with Rayna with lucrative contracts the all-important band support as the price. In this season the record company that has signed Juliette, Edgehill, has a new CEO, Jeff Fordham (Oliver Hudson) who has some radical ideas as to how to take the label clashes with both Rayna and Juliette. However, Juliette’s unquenchable ambition pushes her to cheat on her current boyfriend burgeoning solo artist Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson). Juliete may be young, beautiful and media ready but she finds another newcomer nipping at her heels, Layla Grant (Aubrey Peeples), the runner-up of an extremely popular television singing competition was quickly picked up by the label. When the first single or splat she is quickly dropped on the label.
Juliet is never satisfied with her conquests or success. When she learns that a biopic of Patsy Cline is in preparation, Juliette campaigned vigorously for the part. Once again she gets what she wants in the coveted role is hers. The writers never allow the fans to get off of the emotional roller coaster just as Juliette obtains her next milestone rise to fame she begins to feel sick. After going to a doctor she discovers that she is pregnant and the baby is not Jeff’s. She schedules an abortion but is informed that she is much later in the pregnancy that she had thought and has to keep the child. She tries her best to hide it from the director of the film but realizes that upcoming love seeing was going to reveal growing baby bump. The stress of trying to continually tour and from his overwhelming and space Juliette winds up collapsing on stage. The result is the cancellation of the tour. Juliette’s decision to cheat on Avery was made easier by his return to self-destructive behavior, heavy drinking and distancing himself from her. After an out-of-control bender lands him in jail, Avery is forced to turn to Juliette to bail him out. Spends a few episodes having to report community service while working with his commitment he receives a text message from Juliette concerning her pregnancy with his child. Of he winds up in rehab
Life is just as turbulent for Rayna who begins the season busily making plans for her wedding Luke. She’s trying to balance making the preparations for the nuptials and conducting her own tour. This proves to be exceptionally stressful on the couple with them hardly seeing each other for months at a time. When this schedule is to finally permit being together Rayna schedules it for an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. This just makes Luke more irate than ever the day that was supposed to be for the two of them was once again all about her career. Matters are greatly exacerbated during the interview they are interrupted by loud music. When they investigate the source they walk in on Maddie making out with Luke’s son, Colt (Keean Johnson).
There are some amazing performances contained in this season. One of the highlights is when Juliette performs ‘Mississippi Flood’ on a rooftop in downtown Nashville. As with all her performances Ms. Panettiere brings exciting energy song as you realize that extremely talented actress could very easily have made her career as a singer. She manages to convey the back story of her character, a young woman born to an impoverished, drug addicted mother you find yourself wanting to mitigate some of her actions planned and true methodology and fashion to bring it to the top of the charts and on stage at the coveted Country Music Awards. Underneath all she is frightened little girl desperate to avoid having the affectations of a success ripped from her. Ms. Britton has established itself as a rock-solid dramatic actress with prominent roles such acclaimed series as ‘24’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ and in the premier season the wildly popular horror anthology series ‘American Horror Story’. Having such respected actresses more than able to perform their own musical numbers is the bedrock upon which the popularity and success of this series is instructed. There is no argument, the plot lines of pure soap opera but the sheer quality of the writing, direction and performances makes this to show the remains were the best on the programming lineup. The series consistently reinvents itself adding new dimension to ongoing characters. While some of the situations are contrived the emotionally captivating array of engaging the audience makes is something that should be on any must watch list.